Complaint of a Forsaken Indian William Wordsworth

This poem has an introduction in which Wordsworth explains that “When a Northern Indian, from sickness, is unable to continue his journey with his companions, he is left behind, covered over with deer-skins, and is supplied with water, food, and fuel if the situation of the place will afford it…” This introduction illustrates Wordsworth’s shock that both males and females of the Northern Indians are “exposed to the same fate.”

The poem that follows is written in first person, from the perspective of that “Forsaken Indian Woman.” This woman says, “Before I see another day, Oh let my body die away!” She begs to die before the coming of the next day because her “fire is dead-it knew no pain; Yet is it dead, and I remain.” In other words, the woman has no desire to live anymore and yet her body continues to exist. In the middle of the poem, the woman grieves for her child who has been given to another but she knows that death will soon relieve her of her pain.

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